France and Germany Fifty Years after the Élysée Treaty

in German Politics and Society

The Élysée Treaty turned fifty on 22 January 2013—signed in 1963

between France and Germany, under the watchful eyes of French President

Charles de Gaulle and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

Although celebrated every decade, this particular anniversary comes at a

crucial time in the countries’ bilateral relationship. After a few tumultuous

years of disagreement and distance between Paris and Berlin over serious

economic and foreign policy issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel

and French President François Hollande have seized the opportunity of

the year-long anniversary calendar to work on political rapprochement, in

the spirit of one of the original purposes of the Treaty itself.

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